We’re just a couple of days away from the main draw fixtures at the year’s first great tournament, the Australian Open. Top-flight tennis players prove their mettle competing in other tournaments in the area, preparing for the Melbourne competition, in Sydney, in New Zealand’s Auckland, and in Hobart, Tasmania. A number of Romanian tennis players have this week taken part in the aforementioned events, with mixed results.
In the men’s singles at Auckland, a tournament with 527,880 dollars in prize money, Marius Copil sustained an early, first-round defeat by his American opponent Taylor Fritz, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. In the men’s doubles and also in the first round, the Romanian – Dutch pair made of Horia Tecau and Jean Julien Rojer was outclassed by the all-American pair, Bob and Mike Bryan, 3-6, 7-6 and 11-9, in super tie break.
In Sydney, where the prize money amounts to 832,000 dollars, WTA number 1 Simona Halep sustained a first-round defeat by Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, 6-4, 6-4, in a debut game for Simona in 2019.
In the women’s version of the Hobart tournament, an event with 250,000 dollars up for grabs, Romanian participants fared a little bit better. In the women’s singles, Irina Begu got through to the quarter finals, after on Wednesday she outperformed Russia’s Ana Blinkova, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2. The other two Romanians playing in the main draw, Ana Bogdan and Mihaela Buzarnescu, were eliminated from the very first round.
In the women’s doubles, the Romanian-Chinese pair made up of Monica Niculescu and Zhaxiuan Yang made it to the semifinals, defeating the Romanian – Kazakh pair made up of Raluca Olaru and Galina Voskoboeva, 6-1, 6-4, also on Wednesday.
(translated by: Eugen Nasta)